Terms of the deal for Progressive Farmer, which was acquired by news and weather information services firm DTN, were not disclosed. But there will be no layoffs among Progressive Farmer's 37 employees, who will continue to be based in Birmingham, Ala., according to the new owner.
Farm lifestyle market
"The acquisition of The Progressive Farmer supports DTN's goal of expanding its media presence in a vibrant rural America," Robert D. Gordon, CEO of DTN, said in a statement. "The Progressive Farmer provides DTN a leading position in meeting the information needs of the farm lifestyle market, allowing us to expand beyond our traditional commercial agricultural information products."
A Time Inc. spokeswoman said DTN approached Time Inc. last fall because the title, which becomes DTN's first magazine property, looked like a good fit. "It wasn't obviously part of the 18 that we put on the block," she said. "But it seemed to make sense for them and seemed to make sense for us."
The magazine, part of Time Inc.'s Southern Progress division, reported average paid and qualified non-paid circulation of 624,034 for the first half of 2006, up 3.2% over the first half of 2005, according to the Audit Bureau of Circulations. Publishers Information Bureau does not track the title's ad pages.
Southern Progress began with the launch, in 1886, of The Progressive Farmer as a newspaper. The company was first known as The Progressive Farmer Co., changing its name in 1980 to Southern Progress Corp. Time Inc. acquired Southern Progress in 1985, and the division now houses titles such as Cooking Light and Southern Living.
Second-round bids on the Time 18 are due in several weeks, not Jan. 8, as some published reports stated.